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Massive Resort & Entertainment District planned for abandoned resort next to Disney World

Plans have been revealed to transform an abandoned resort Kissimmee resort into a massive new tourism destination including hotels, attractions, restaurants, retail and more!

Massive new Resort & Entertainment District planned for abandoned resort next to Walt Disney World

Central Florida's ever changing tourism landscape could be in line for a major new project that would breathe new life into an abandoned resort on the 192 in Kissimmee, close to Walt Disney World.

A Community Development Application has been filled in Osceola County by The Meyers Group. This is the first step required to move the project forward.

Massive new Resort & Entertainment District planned for abandoned resort next to Walt Disney World

The massive construction project would see the former Orlando Sun Resort and Convention Center raised to the ground in favor of a huge new 77-acre entertainment district called the "Ovation" project.

The ambitious project would include three hotels with a total of 675 rooms, plus, retail shops, restaurants, bars, offices, and attractions, including a massive ferris wheel offering spectacular views of Walt Disney World.

This project could easily rival ICON Park on International Drive, and even includes a similar ferris wheel. Other similar entertainment destinations nearby include Disney Springs, The Pormenade at Sunset Walk, and The Pointe Orlando.

We will keep you up to date on this exciting new project, but for now read on for the troubled history of the 77 acres of prime real estate in the heart of Central Florida's tourism district.

The abandoned Orlando Sun Resort sits on a prime location on US-192, also known as Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, outside of Walt Disney World at the I-4 and US-192 Interchange, across from Celebration.

Massive new Resort & Entertainment District planned for abandoned resort next to Walt Disney World

The hotel was originally built in 1972 by the Carolando Corporation, a group of investors from North Carolina who saw an opportunity to build a hotel complex right outside of World Walt Disney World.

The original plans for the resort included thousands of hotel rooms, restaurants, a convention center, and even an attraction - a massive observation tower that was to be the tallest building in Florida.

Massive new Resort & Entertainment District planned for abandoned resort next to Walt Disney World

Before the project was completed, Carlando hit financial trouble and less than a year into the project, they sold on the land and partially completed resort to the Hyatt Corporation.

Hyatt did complete the majority of the resort including 3,400 hotel rooms and a massive convention center, but sadly the observation tower was axed from the project.

On completion, the resort was named the Hyatt Orlando Resort, and operated successfully for several years, however as Walt Disney World rapidly expanded its own collection of hotels, guest were opting to stay onsite rather than in Kissimmee, and by the early 2000s the resort was in serious financial trouble, much like many hotels and resorts on Highway 192.

On September 12, 2003, without any warning, Hyatt closed its doors permanently, giving no warning to employees, and guests were told to vacate their rooms by noon!.

Hyatt then sold the property in 2004 to New York based Moinian Group for $30 million, with the new owners announcing that they were to demolish the now aging and deteriorating buildings and build new hotels, and a water park. This never happened, with Moninian then announcing that they would repurpose the hotel rooms into condominiums, but again this never happened, and after the property lay vacant for several years, Moinian decided to reopen the resort as a hotel.

The resort received a multi-million refurbishment including exterior and interior painting, new furniture, bed linens, etc, and was renamed the Ramada Orlando Celebration Resort And Convention Center Kissimmee, opening for business in June 2007.

Shortly after re-opening, the resort was rebranded again, this time to the Orlando Sun Resort, but by now the hotel was receiving many negative reviews online due to the aging building and a lack of maintenance, ultimately this led to the hotel closed for the last time in 2012.

At this time Moinian Group listed the resort for sale, with an asking price of $74 million.

It was purchased eventually in 2021 by another New York company who have since done nothing with the resort, allowing it to be damaged by trespassers, and looters, to the point the buildings are beyond repair.

You can watch a video below of the abandoned resort by Bright Sun Films which shows the astonishing decay to the once busy resort which has been left to rot in the Florida Sunshine.

Lets hope the new project brings a happy ever after to the property at last!

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